I don’t completely agree with Taylor Swift’s description of what it feels like to be “22”, as most of it describes how I felt between the ages of 18 to 21. In fact, I think she may have missed the mark with her hit by one year, and the song should be titled “21” instead. Most of the song seems like a description for a college undergraduate’s thoughts as he or she goes to some Greek party, house party, or local club event in hopes of bumping into his or her new love interest. Or maybe even an old love interest if he or she is holding out hope that the abandoned connection could still turn into a promising reconnection.
In spite of missing the mark on the age, I do agree with one of the verses:
“We’re happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time. It’s miserable and magical.”
If you’re a recent college grad still trying to find your way in life, you might agree with T-Swift that it’s an experience that brings on a spectrum of conflicting emotions. You might be happy to be free of term papers, projects, or exams as another finals week rolls around.
Maybe you’re confused about how you can enjoy work yet miss school at the same time. If you’re unemployed, it’s possible you could be confused how you can love being free of responsibility so much, and hate it simultaneously as society pressures you to pick a career or go to grad school.
Despite knowing that there are millions who can relate to you, you still feel just a tad bit lonely as you compare yourself to the many successful postgrad outliers who seemingly have the best jobs ever coming out of school. You might feel a little lonely as you scroll through these friends’ Instagrams, as their hashtags #lovemyjob #lovemycareer make you sad.
Once a person turns 22, the gap between finishing your bachelor’s and starting a career is both a miserable and magical time. It’s a time of opportunity and possibility as you decide what is it that you really, really want to do. It can be scary.
You thought you answered these questions in undergrad when you picked your major, but now the heat has only just begun as you try to create the life you imagined in undergrad.